This coming Thursday we will be at Texas Children's with Andrew for outpatient sedated Botox injections. As always, we'd love your prayers for a safe and successful procedure since there will be some anesthesia. He will be getting the shots in the back of his left calf again as well as down the front of his shin since the spasticity has caused his leg to turn inward. Three weeks later we will go back and begin serial casting for 6-8 weeks. I'm sad that he'll start school in a giant leg cast :-( but I'm thankful we were able to be cast free over the summer.
The ultimate goal here is to improve his gait and function and to hopefully push impending orthopedic procedures out into the future as far as possible. My hope is that he will be alleviated from some of the pain and cramps that the spasticity causes and that maybe he will get enough improvement to master riding a inline scooter, which has been very challenging for him and perhaps even learn to ride a bike without training wheels. He wants to do those things really badly but they are extremely difficult for him with his balance and reciprocal movement issues. And running without so much falling would be really wonderful too.
After the casting is done he will be fitted with new leg braces and a night splint and will begin intense physical therapy to maximize the effectiveness of the Botox. Hopefully it will all be worth it in Andrew's eyes, he's getting old enough now that I want him to understand why we have to do this and I'm praying he'll be pleased with the result of all his hard work. But I certainly would love for him not to need any of it. He's such a trooper!
I can't believe my little guys will start 1st grade in less than a month. After lots of discussion with teachers and therapists we've decided to start them in public school this year with their same age peers and not repeat kindergarten. I've wrestled with this a lot, if they weren't December birthdays and were born in 2007 like they should have been it would be a much easier decision to hold them back. They are already in the older half of their grade so it seems like holding them back doesn't make sense at this point in time as they seem to be grasping the material just fine but we are struggling with fine motor and attention issues but not enough that they need to repeat a grade at this point. But we will certainly reevaluate at the end of 1st grade.
When we have been home this summer, we've kept a very full schedule trying to get the most out of our time. Both boys have some degree of fine motor delay so they've been getting occupational therapy twice a week and they attended an art camp, a church day camp and had a few handwriting sessions to help their development along. Andrew has turned into a coloring machine and he's gotten pretty good at coloring pages with markers and I'm hoping that has helped his hand strength.
In addition to helping along our fine motor skills we've been doing a lot of martial arts to help with balance, flexibility and gross motor. When we are in town, they've been doing taekwondo 2 days a week as well as judo 2 days a week. Judo is by far their favorite, it involves a lot of grappling and physical contact which has been a good outlet for them in that regard.
Now for some random pictures:
Summer rain in Texas! So excited to get to use an umbrella one day leaving day camp
Reenacting a picture of themselves that hangs in the pedi's waiting room lol
Ally's favorite snack "Pop Pop"
The Adorable doll cradle she got from Aunt Dana for her birthday. She loves to get in it ;-)
She loves books!
Taking "Dooog" Zoey for a walk
Andrew is one cool dude